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Down Under School of Yoga: The Power, Passion and Precision of a Yoga Practice.

Think of yoga. Whether you envision a monk in meditation or impressive poses demonstrating strength and flexibility, both diverse images can be traced back to the roots of traditional Indian yoga. Down Under School of Yoga in Newton and Brookline is a major American yoga school and the home to legendary yoga teachers of all styles and traditions of yoga.

The remakable thing about this diverse school is that all the faculty have the same ultimate goal. Lead faculty and teacher trainer, Peter Crowley explains "Learning to stand on your hands is great but it shouldn't get in the way of the actual point of why we are here - which is to learn to pay attention." A Veteran Boston yoga teacher of more than a decade's experience, Peter is trained in Astanga, Vinyasa and Forrest yoga. Renown for his anatomical expertise, injury assessment and ethics trainings, Peter teaches a popular Slow Flow style of yoga that encourages deliberate placement and mindfulness.

Yoga practice begins with a student studying their physical movements and habits. This observation leads to noticing the mental commentary that accompanies much of what they do. This ability to focus utlimately becomes a tool that can be employed outside of the yoga studio, helping to maintain sanity in a world full of devices and distractions. Crowley says "Students are not just training their bodies. They are also training their minds. I try to convery to my students that however their practice looks, they can get there. You don't have to have a perfect downward dog to be in my class. If you have a perfect downward dog, you may still need to learn to sit still. Yoga class can be a very quiet expression and do quite big things."

Down Under's emphasis on community means the school does not sell or endorse brands of clothing and there is no retail shop. This strong non-commercialism stance honors a key tenets of yoga philosophy, aparigrapha or 'non-hoarding', communicating that $100 yoga pants are not a relevant part of practice.

The only school in New England to house the three major lineages to emerge from India, Down Under's links with India are ongoing, with many faculty returning to refresh and renew their experience of the century-old practices that are increasingly in demand in 21st century Western societies. Ashtanga Director Kate O'Donnell comments "I love that the students that come out of this place are connected to a specific line of learning. It's my job to offer a pure tradition, to offer something specific, in the way my teacher taught me and his teacher taught him, down the line. So when we practice we are connected to something that is tried and true "

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